How to Avoid the Negative Results of a "Cheat Meal"

Serve up the flavor, not the regret with my versions of "cheat meals"

The theory behind a “cheat” meal is to eat one meal a week that you crave in order to not totally deprive yourself of things you love…but, this can send people into an unhealthy eating tailspin! I like to "healthify" the “cheats” so people can get the flavor, but not the elevated number 0n the scale.  After all, it can take days to work off the weight you might gain and lots of effort too..


Whole Grain Pork Tacos–

healthier pulled pork tenderloin, volumize with shredded cabbage, guacamole, pico de gallo, queso fresco, grilled grapefruit, whole grain tortillas, + a side of flavored black beans with bacon

  • Limit the starches- not corn, tortillas, beans, AND rice
  • Pick a dairy – not cheese AND sour cream
  • Volumize with shredded cabbage vs lettuce

Lean Pulled BBQ Chicken + Veggie Fries –

chicken is lean + BBQ sauce is super flavorful + it can be made in the slow-cooker.

  • Served with grilled onions on top to magnify the flavor
  • A healthier lettuce “bun” vs starchy + caloric carb buns
  • A side of veggie-based fries by using the frozen + easy-to-prep brand: Veggie Fries
    • They have only non-GMO ingredients, are gluten-free, vegan + free of top 8 allergens as well- which is perfect for any home. As a nutritionist AND a mom, my favorite part is that they contain 2 veggie servings in every 10 fries!


VitaTops muffin tops, or just "tops" if you're in my house...

come in many different varieties, but not just flavors! They can be protein-packed, gluten-free, + superfood + in flavors like chocolate chip + protein banana-chocolate, protein chocolate-peanut butter, deep chocolate, wild blueberry, + superfood CranBran, more. YUM! The superfood ones are my jam because they have just 120 calories, but carry a healthy 6 grams of fiber too! Both protein muffins have 8g of protein, so those are a great post-workout snack too to replenish.

Skinny S’mores!!!

my modern adaptation is with graham crackers topped with apple slices + drizzled with caramel sauce. No sugar-filled Marshmallows and a serving of fruit!


Kombucha Tequila Cocktail:

Toss the sugar-filled margarita + make this...

·      1 1/2 oz tequila

·      1 1/2 oz triple sec

·      1 1/2 oz lime juice

·      1 TB Manduka honey

·      3 oz plain Kombucha

To Make:

1.     Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, then pour into a glass + garnish with a lime wedge.

Vodka Blueberry Beauty Cocktail:

Forget the tonic + make this...

·      1 1/2 oz vodka

·      1 TB of agave syrup

·      2 1/2 oz plain la croix or sparkling water 

·      6 mint leaves

·      1/8 cup blueberries

To Make:

1.     Muddle the mint leaves + blueberries in a shaker, add in ice, vodka, club soda, syrup, + shake away.

2.     Serve with a mint + blueberry garnish.

Ashley Pettit